Issues related to organisational and institutional change

 All significant changes previously identified and many other issues raised by the change shall be adopted by all CORAF/WECARD. There shall be a strong involvement of NARS and all stakeholders. The aim is to incorporate changes in the strategies of programs during their development and the Secretariat shall direct the process. It is necessary to develop a plan for the management of that change. Change management is done through a formal plan. To institutionalise it within CORAF/WECARD, it is necessary to have a provisional unit/team responsible for institutional change that will be under the Executive Director. It shall not be a permanent unit, but one that will exist during the change process to ensure appropriate management and provide the necessary support. Some areas related to change and their characteristics are listed below.

Programme Development

There are two aspects to consider in programme development:

  • Technical aspects are focused on issues related to the scientific content and nature of the projects in the programmes that include the review of current research, the identification of new projects and development of strategies;
  • Non-technical aspects cover the mechanisms and systems for the management of programmes including partnerships, staffing levels and M & E.

 Structural change – Human Resource Development

New terms of reference and job descriptions were developed and implemented for the staff of the enlarged Board and the Secretariat. The staff currently under contract will remain in office. However, as part of the change process, the staff may be required to operate under the revised terms of reference and job descriptions. A programme to sensitise and inform on issues of change will be developed and implemented. This programme will take into account any continuing training or support training to ensure familiarity with and knowledge of the necessary changes in attitude and skills. A Service Charter indicating the quality, expectations and indicators will be developed and implemented to establish baseline values ​​for all those involved in CORAF/WECARD. All terms of reference and systems will be reviewed and, if necessary, adjusted, six to twelve months after their implementation.

Planning and Management Systems                                                      

Current systems will be reviewed, evaluated, improved if necessary and made operational with appropriate equipment, training support and staffing.

Information Systems

A comprehensive strategy for communication and knowledge management systems will be implemented as part of the Operational Plan to harmonise and develop procedures for the purpose of supporting and stimulating the process of change.

Capacity Development and Capacity Building of the NARS

The development of the capacity of the NARS remains a fundamental aspect of the strategy of CORAF/WECARD as envisaged in the Strategic Plan. The commitment of CORAF/WECARD to improve dissemination and mechanisms means that the development of the NARS now needs to be specifically supported based on a programme approach. The role of INRA and the other members of the NARS in the context of sub-regional agricultural research activities of CORAF/WECARD will be reviewed. Based on the review that will fully use the published materials, interventions will be developed in the form of projects that specifically address issues of capacity building. The main issues include:

  • Pooling of resources: Specialisation Centres;
  • The creation and maintenance of a minimum base of expertise in different areas;
  • The development of competence for effective implementation of the IAR4D paradigm
  • The development of partnerships.

In order to fully access and utilise the comparative advantages and sub-regional expertise, it is necessary to develop partnerships and make them effective. Current partnerships systems were reviewed. They are based on the results, mechanisms and systems that present the current shortcomings and build on the gains that will be developed and made operational. These will be reviewed and adjusted as part of the process of operationalization.

Development of internal and external capacity

Capabilities and expertise necessary for both the management and implementation of the changes also need to constitute an institutionalised approach for both research and administrative functions for the development of internal and external capacity of members of CORAF/WECARD Secretariat and Board and those of the NARS. A programme to sensitize and inform on the change issues will be developed and implemented as part of the Operational Plan. If that were the case, on-site training and support would be given to strengthen their roles and awareness on the change process. Any change in the terms of reference or job descriptions shall be in line with changes to organisational structures and roles of some other positions and bodies of CORAF/WECARD.